Archive for the ‘Internet Video Ads’ Category

If you can’t beat them…Viacom and MTV figure it out

November 3rd, 2008 Comments off

It seems like a hundred years ago.

Overnight, it became dead simple to copy and post video to the Internet and everyone started doing it.

Copyright owners wailed and gnashed their teeth. Can you blame them? Suddenly, it was easier to copy and repost their uber-expensive products than it was to make paper copies. (At least you have to pay to make photocopies.)

To get the ball rolling, Viacom filed a $1 billion lawsuit against Google and YouTube.  (That lawsuit is still pending I believe.)

In the meantime, someone got intelligent.

Read more…

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How to create a viral video

October 1st, 2008 Comments off

Well, I have one.

A genuine viral video

How about 1,234,411 views for one page in September – with no advertising, no SEO, no nothing? Just raw viral power. 

Just in case you didn’t read that right, that’s over ONE MILLION TWO HUNDRED THOUSAND views for one page in one month.

Now that I am a genuine viral marketing "expert", here’s what I’ve learned…

Read more…

Called it…did it – in real time

August 31st, 2008 Comments off

A few days ago, I accepted what sounded like a totally insane challenge. 

A friend asked if I could help promote a video I made for her group on YouTube.

"What category?" I asked.

"News and politics," she said.

"Let me get this straight. The Democrats are right in the middle of their convention. The Republicans are starting their own soon. All the TV news, all the newspaper headlines, all the blogs are focused on the conventions and you want to go up against that?"

(I mean, really. Can you imagine anything more impractical, more pie-in-the-sky, more unlikely to ever happen?)

Then she hit me with the zinger:

"It’s for New Orleans."

"Oh…OK…Let’s do it!"

24 hours ago, we had a zero ranking on YouTube. Now look at where we’re at…On the top line of the highest rated videos, right next to the Democrats and the Republicans.

Let’s see…the candidates have spent tens of millions of dollars to promote themselves. The news media threw in, what, maybe another $100 million worth of free exposure. They have thousands of minions and operatives at their beck and call.

And we’re right up there…for zero dollars…in our spare time…all from a lap top.

That’s Internet power baby. The System Way.

Can your guru do that?  Can they go up against the real world’s biggest media guns, call it, win it and do it in real time?

Sometime next week, I’ll explain how YOU can do this too – and you won’t have to touch your credit card to learn.

Meanwhile, here’s the video. Soon we’re going to get knocked down to the "Weekly" top rated instead of "Today’s" top rated so I’m still hustling for  traffic:

Check it out: Bottom right hand corner.  It’s called "The Katrina Myth."

Best placement money can buy – but we got it free.

Categories: Internet Video Ads Tags:

Video reviews on Amazon

September 18th, 2007 Comments off

Amazon has long used its customers comments to help sell books. Customer reviews and recommended book lists have led the way. (I wonder if that makes them a pioneering web 2.0 company?)

Now Amazon has joined the video age.

Go to Amazon, pick any book and select the "review" option and you’ll be given two options: 1) the standard text option and 2) the new video option.

Just like with YouTube, you get an easy-to-use interface to upload your video to Amazon.

Interestingly, Amazon recommends the PureDigital line of video cameras we first reported on a year and a half ago.  I remain amazed that Google/YouTube hasn’t made a similar deal with PureDigital (or bought the company.)

PureDigital seems to be thriving in spite of their low profile. New cameras with new features. Where’s Apple? Micro video cameras is a cool niche that fits their mission to a ‘t.’

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The winner: video customer reviews

August 11th, 2007 12 comments

In advertising, we call them "testimonials," but in truth customers couldn’t care less about them.

What they really want are real life case studies if they’re business buyers, or product reviews from other customers, if they’re consumers.

When we, the advertisers, say something, or even relate a customer comment second hand in the form of a "testimonial," our much-abused and rightfully skeptical prospects take it with a grain of salt.

On the other hand, when a real person says it, credibility skyrockets.

Since I started my latest round of writing about Internet video in 2005, I’ve often repeated my hunch that one of the slam dunk uses of video was going to be to capture customer reviews. In fact, as far back as 2000, I was making sure that every time I did a live event I grabbed video from customers. This video has been, far and away, my most effective selling tool.

Now the studies are coming in and guess what? About 80% of consumers put more faith in advertisers who present customer reviews than those that don’t.  Over thee out of four customers say it is extremely or very important to read customer reviews before making a purchase.

And not just any old reviews. They want customer reviews and prefer them 6 to 1 over "expert" reviews. 44% of online shoppers say that consumer ratings and reviews are the most useful e-commerce  feature.  No other eCommerce shopping feature came even close.

Another study came up with different but similar numbers.

First, 85% of consumers research big ticket purchases like travel, electronics and cars on the Internet before they make their purchase. And what do 63% of them most want to see on a web site? You guessed it: customer reviews.

In the consumer electronics category, Amazon and Circuit City  are the most trusted vendors, Amazon because it’s familiar and Circuit City because it’s the easiest to use. Less trusted, at least in terms of online buying, are Wal-Mart and BestBuy. Guess who doesn’t provide customer reviews…

But that’s just changed. Last week, Wal-Mart started offering customer reviews on its web site. Wal-Mart’s own self-reported numbers state that 85% of their customers are Internet users. Sounds a little high to me, but then again, Wal-Mart’s got a pretty good record of tracking customer behavior (an understatement actually.)

General Motors is also getting into the act with big media buys at Yahoo Answers. Yahoo Answers, in case you didn’t now, is one of the granddaddies of user generated content sites. Members ask questions and other members answer them. Yahoo claims 90 million users and 250 million answers posted worldwide. Notice the theme: people talking to people without the mediation of pesky "experts."

In the online video arena, one company is making business of video customer reviews: These guys are harnessing the two biggest forces on the Internet today: consumer-generated content and video.  Currently, the site has over 50,000 product reviews, all provided by consumers who shoot, edit and upload their own videos.  ExpoTV then turns around and syndicates this content to sites like,, AOL and Yahoo.

ExpoTV pays its visitors $5 for every video they submit that’s accepted. Interestingly, the company says that  only 5 to 10%   of videos submitted by its users have to be rejected on purely technical grounds like bad sound or lighting. Clearly, huge portions of the world are now not only comfortable watching video on the Internet, they’re also comfortable and capable of shooting and uploading their own videos. (Thank YouTube for kicking that revolution into high gear.)

So what’s the take away from all of this?

1. Are you making it possible for your customers to post reviews of your products and services so other prospects can see them?  If not, you may be missing out on a huge credibility builder.

2. Don’t think that text-only "testimonials" are enough. Consumers are getting used to the idea of seeing video customer reviews.  The first player in your niche to take advantage of this lesson will quickly leave the rest of the competition behind. 

Remember the numbers from the surveys:

1) Prospects value the opinions of customers over "experts" 6 to 1, 
2) Well over half of all Internet users believe that customer reviews and ratings are extremely or very important, and
3) The single most popular feature on eCommerce sites, by a very wide margin, is the availability of customer reviews.

Bottom line: Customers want to get their product information from each other. Not from advertisers. Makes sense, doesn’t it?

Ken McCarthy

P.S. For a free highlights version of this blog go to:

Categories: Internet Video Ads Tags:

Make or Buy – Part Two

July 18th, 2007 3 comments

Internet video continues to demonstrated its effectiveness and superiority over text.

As proof of this, you can hardly find a single big numbers Internet marketer who has not made a serious investment in mastering the medium.

What about you?

I know from first hand experience how expensive and time consuming it can be to sort this stuff out.

That’s why I’m always on the lookout for good *educators* in this field.

Here’s one I recommend very highly:

Jay Douglas.

He may have put together the best, most comprehensive, lowest cost way to get up to speed and fluent in
Internet video fast:


Ken McCarthy

P.S. I’m of the opinion that the tools for Internet video production have become so cheap and easy to use that everyone should at least look at the potential of  making their own sales videos.

You wouldn’t hire a typist to write your e-mails and sales letters for you, would you? That would get awfully burdensome.

It might makes sense to run up the learning curve on video, just the way you did on typing.

Here’s a great resource to do just that:

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How to make Internet video ads fast

May 29th, 2007 4 comments

Here’s an example of a "quick and dirty" Internet video ad.

It’s for Perry Marshall’s new book.

We shot it at System 2007 in one take with no script.

It’s a "content" ad. In other words, it contains content that is intrinsically valuable on its own and the pitch, such as it is, is woven in.

Total run time: 3:50 minutes.

My total time invested in the production: about 8 minutes.

Then I handed it off to an editor who cleaned it up, added titles and uploaded it to YouTube.

Then I uploaded a new page for the video to my System Seminar TV platform (about 2 minutes) and now I’m writing to tell you about it (another 2 minutes.)

My total time investment: 12 minutes.

The keys to achieving this kind of  efficiency:

1. Have a shooter at your events so that when you come up with an idea you can execute it on the spot.

2. Have an editor who knows how to upload video to the Internet waiting in the wings.

3. Have some kind of easy-to-use video publishing platform like a blog or a custom solution.

Once you have these elements in place, producing, publicizing and distributing Internet video is child’s play.

Here’s what the final product looks like…



P.S. For a free highlights version of this blog, go to

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Doubleclick study: Internet video works

May 28th, 2007 4 comments

A major study of 2006 online video ad campaigns reveals what a lot of us knew from first hand experience: video trumps text and static graphics.

As useful as this stufy is on one level, ultimately I’d file the study as an example of  "interesting, but missing the point."

First, the interesting part…

Read more…

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Double duty video

May 10th, 2007 2 comments

As people who know me know, I’m a passionate fan and supporter of the great city of New Orleans.

For the last six months, I’ve spent a week per month down there talking with local rebuilding groups.

One of the groups that really stood out for me is, a grassroots organization founded on a kitchen table by New Orleans resident Sandy Rosenthal.

We started advising Sandy on web promotion in December, showed her how to rework her site to maximize opt-ins, and encouraged her to harness the magic of Interner video.

One strategy I suggested was making a "double duty" video: a single video for use on the web site (and YouTube) and for TV. Non-Profits have the advantage of getting free  PSA (public service announcement) time on TV.

The trick is to make the video compelling. One way to do that: enroll a celebrity. Hollywood and TV star John Goodman stood up and here’s the result on YouTube..

Click here to see the video

P.S. What can YOU do with your Internet skills to help a cause that you believe in?


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What we’ve all been waiting for

February 26th, 2007 1 comment

Ever since Internet video began its ascent, I’ve been looking for a source…

…a single destination I can send readers to – with confidence – that will give you all the Internet video tools and services and education you need a from one single, reliable source at an affordable price.

I’m glad to say that finally that day has arrived.

Click here and crack the Internet video code

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